IOUG Live! 2003 Day #1 (Sunday)

by Stephen Andert

Last year, I was able to attend a University course on Sunday. This year, I was not, in part due to other responsibilities which would have required leaving early.

Some of those responsibilities are due to my having been selected as a speaker this year. As a first-time IOUG speaker, there was a mandatory new speaker orientation. Now if you are like some people, the mere mention of anything mandatory makes you want to try and find some way out of it. However, this meeting was designed in part to help first-time speakers be as successfull as possible. The new speaker mentor, Mary Platt, has been sending gentle reminders and advice since our papers were selected. There was advice on how many slides you should have and what colors you should avoid and other things that made preparing for this a lot easier.

At the new speaker orientation, there was some new advice, something spending several years in toastmasters hadn't taught me: avoid carbonation before your presentation . . . the bubbles have to go somewhere and you are wearing a microphone. There was also some common-sense advice, get enough sleep so you don't give your audience the impression that you think your own presentation is a yawn. That is particularly important for people like me whose presentation is the day after the Big Bash. I guess I'll plan on just having a little bash. All in all, I've been very impressed by the support Mary and the track managers have been giving the first-time presenters and consider this meeting as another benefit of being a speaker.

Another meeting was held for all speakers. Stan Yellott led the general speaker orientation. During this time, he provided information on room monitors and what their tasks are (help w/audio visual, lighting, etc) and on the speaker ready room where we need to check in and where we can test the audio visual setup with our laptops. Stan also introduced the conference comittee.

Following that was the General Orientation & Welcome for all attendees. Karen Langley covered the logistics and included important things like were to find lunch and snacks and the schedule of the big events (keynotes, reception, Big Bash). This was followed by some time for geographic networking. Tables were setup with labels for different parts of the country and world. This was a great opportunity to meet people from your own backyard and find out what you have in common (besides Oracle). I was able to meet several people from my area which makes it a bit less intimidating walking around several thousand people when you can say "hi" to a few more familiar faces.

As I discovered last year, many people I know by name from mailing list discussions were here. This year I remembered some by face without having to read their name tag and have been able to put more faces with names. Walking around the hotel lobby is kind of like going to a school reunion where you keep bumping into someone else that you know.

Later that evening a group started walking to find a place for some to eat, others to drink and for all to visit. We eventually found a place and had a good time. Some people even kept the discussion off of Oracle for awhile.

After reviewing the catalog, I'm really looking foreword to this week. As usual, there are more than a couple time slots that make me wish I could me in two places at once. Fortunately, a colleague from my company was also able to attend this year, so we are coordinating our plans to be able to attend as many sessions as possible.

That's all for now folks. Stay tuned throughout the week for more updates...

Are you here at the conference?
If so let me know what session you are most looking foreword to.